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Asylum seeker sonnet

  • 28 May 2013

Treasure Island, a sonnet

Within our happy harbourside retreatwe put on show of affluence and gleeand round the barbie with our friends we meetor watch the footy final on TV.

Our leaders stop the boats, turn back the tideof those who seek to storm our golden gates,to let them know that God's not on their sidenor will we ever count them as our mates.

With every boat that sinks our grief's untold,the smugglers just don't care they're overfull,so join the queue, no need to bribe with goldand get a proper visa in Kabul

or if we must, illegals to preventwe'll just excise the whole damn continent.

Brendan Doyle


small and smaller islands

beaches, these doors swung widethrough barbed-wire cliffs, gatesheld wide by a welcoming smileof sand; land a place for landing andthe landed, greeting and the waving,new bricks farmed and growthembraced like fresh children;______across the valley therea tragedy of cliffs, no garden clingingby its fingers, no symbiosis blendingin the soil; standing straight-backed,staring out to sea.

Ben Walter


Blind tiger

They repatriated this security risk.You'll be safe back home,they assured him, the war's over.

He knew about the war,forced to fight when still a child.And he knew about over.

Over was why he risked deathto escape to a placethat sounded so safe and festive:

Christmas Island. Only he was flownto another island where menhung from beams like strange fruit.

Now he sits on a footpathbegging for coins, his eyespunched out by bicycle spokes.

You'll be safe there, they growled,the war's over. He knowswhat it means to be blind. 

Rob Wallis

Brendan Doyle grew up in a house without books, and now wants to build a house of poetry. He has published poems in Islet, Five Bells, Get Reading Postcards, Famous Reporter and Four W. 

Ben Walter is a Tasmanian writer and poet. His work has appeared in Island, Griffith Review, Cordite and Overland, and his debut poetry manuscript, Lurching, was recently shortlisted for the University of Tasmania prize, as part of the Tasmanian Literary Prizes. 

Rob Wallis has published three volumes of poetry, the last, Man In A Glass Suit, in 2011. His poems have been published in Woorilla, The Mozzie, Poetry Monash, Wet Ink, Blue Dog and Westerly. He has won first and second prize in the FAW John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award, the Martin Downey Award for Urban Realism in the MPU International Poetry Competition, and the Castlemaine Poetry Prize.